product review

Review: Ahh Bra

SecondCherry rates this:**********( 5/5 )

A mega-comfy bra for casual wear.

Ahh bra

The Ahh Bra, in case you haven't heard of it, is a different kind of bra. Similar to a sports bra in look, it is much lighter in feel, and works something like the top of a swimming costume. You pull it on over your head, it has no seams, wires or closures, and you buy it by your chest size, not your cup size. 

I have fibrocystic breast disease, which causes painful lumps and bumps in the breasts, and I came across the Ahh Bra concept when I was searching for a more comfortable bra to wear.

Bras have become increasingly tricky over the past few years. I gave up on underwires many years ago as just too purgatorial, and for some time now, I've worn a soft bra from Spidel, with an inner sling. This is a well-designed bra, but even this could become somewhat uncomfortable after many hours of wear, and I found myself taking it off in the evening. I tried, as many FBD sufferers do, wearing a camisole, but a D-cup girl does need some support as otherwise there's just too much movement and chafing. On the other hand, a sports bra is too compressive - your breasts aren't designed to be squashed constantly - and a crop-top gives you a uniboob. 

Wearing a bra, incidentally, is not recommended by doctors. There is no medical necessity for a bra, and the idea that you need a bra to support your breasts otherwise they will sag has about as much validity as as the wartime idea that your stomach would sag if you didn't wear corsets. There is, in fact, quite a strong body of evidence to suggest that bras actually MAKE you sag, because they give the pectoral ligaments nothing to do, just as we now know that exercise is the best thing to support stomach muscles.

There is also some evidence, though inconclusive, to link bra-wearing with breast cancer and congestive diseases of the breast - sufferers of fibrocystic breast disease are recommended to stop wearing bras, or wear them as little as possible, and this does often relieve the pain. It takes little imagination to see that constantly wearing a tight garment with narrow straps around any part of the body is probably not a good idea, and today's bra that hoicks your tits right back up your chest is a very modern phenomenon - for most of history, women's breasts have been only lightly supported, by a corset, choli blouse some form of binding garment, and a natural degree of sag has been considered quite acceptable.  

While I'm quite happy to put on a bra to go out in public, or even don a frilly, lacy job for certain occasions, on a daily basis what  I really want is to feel comfortable - I was looking for something that I could basically forget I was wearing and would happily put up with a bit of sag in my own home and on my own time. I also wanted something that looked right under a t-shirt, as this is pretty much what I live in. 

Enter the Ahh Bra, designed specifically with comfort in mind. The original design costs about $60 for three - a pack of white, nude and black - but I picked up an 'Ahh-style bra' pack on Ebay for £12 instead. There are also other makes, such as the Genie bra, or the Wauw bra, which come in different colours such as pink and eau-de-nil.   

The bra goes on a bit like a crop-top, but has more room in the cups, wide straps like a vest and a deep back.  And since it arrived, I haven't worn anything else - other than a single day when I was going out to meet friends and decided 'the girls' needed a bit more lift. 

For any woman who's struggled out of her bra with a sigh of relief the minute she got home, the Ahh Bra is a great item for relaxation wear. And if you're a B cup or below, or reasonably firm at any size, you could comfortably wear it all the time. The deep back and sides eliminate back fat and are totally invisible under a t-shirt. The only disadvantage of the bra is that it doesn't hoick the girls right up under your chin, and - in my case - I need to be careful when running downstairs. But overall, it's a great buy, and I find that I'm wearing mine pretty much all the time. 





Royce's 'Grace' bra

SecondCherry rates this:*********( 4.5/5 )

Royce's 'Grace' bra is a well-designed support bra for every day.

Royce Grace braThe Royce bra company was a firm I only discovered recently. WIth a background in support bra design, they bring all that experience to bear in a range of bras that can be worn every day. So when I needed a white bra recently, I decided to order their 'Grace' model.

I don't have anything against underwires, which I find perfectly comfortable, but for those for whom it's an issue, the Grace is a non-wired bra. It has all the attributes you should look for in a good everyday bra - thick, sturdy straps, deep sides, a good double-hook back closure, a deep bra frame and a three-section cup. Importantly for me, it also comes in a B cup - a good supportive bra is quite hard to find in anything below a C, as if we smaller girls didn't need a bit of help as well. 

When I viewed the original photo, I thought it had a four-section cup, but in reality there isn't a vertical seam in the bottom cup section. What it has is a lower cup, an embroidered upper cup and a side section that pushes your breasts into the centre.

I am a big devotee of the Doreen bra by Triumph, but the Grace gives a slightly different shape to the breast, slightly more centralised (and a bit more cleavage) but less separation. Importantly, too, I would say it has something of a minimising effect, which is fine by me - although I like a lot of uplift, I don't want to appear bigger. The cups come up slightly smaller than the Doreen, so for me it is a snugger fit. 

Once you've got the bra on, you can wear it all day without noticing, and there's absolutely no jiggle. That therefore meets my main criteria for an everyday bra. The cups, although prettily embroidered are also fairly invisible under a t-shirt, which is something that can't be said for the standard version of the Doreen, which has rougher lace (although the Luxury and cotton-rich versions are smoother). Lastly, if you've had a mastectomy, the bra comes in a prosthesis version.  

The Grace bra comes in white only, with 100 per cent cotton cups in sizes from B to G. It costs £18.72 (+ VAT if you're UK-based) direct from Royce, with cheap international shipping, or you can buy it from Undercover Experience for £22 and free international shipping.